Esks’ Ray feelin’ the pain

GERRY MODDEJONGE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:29 PM ET

Ricky Ray left the field for part of Tuesday’s practice.

On his first day back at work after rushing for a career-high 135 yards Saturday against the B.C. Lions, Ray was still feeling the effects of the contact that came with it.

“It makes you realize how much sliding is good, to try not to take as many of those shots,” Ray said. “Sometimes you have to on second down, where you’ve got to pick up a first down and you’ve got to go flying forward if you can. On other ones, just save yourself a few hits.”

Ray had a trio of run-ins with Lions linebacker Solomon Elimimian, including a punishing tackle, a sack and a helmet-to-helmet hit that ended up being a penalty.

While the Eskimos benefitted from the extra yards, Ray is left paying the physical price.

“I was just trying to squeeze by those guys,” Ray said. “Most of the time, I’m alright at not taking a full head-on shot, just making them get pieces of you, but they got me a couple of times pretty good and it’ll teach me to get down next time.”

Meaning there will be more rushing in Ray’s future, not that he expects opposing defences to overhaul their packages to tie down his feet.

“I don’t think they’re going to do anything (different),” Ray said. “I mean, I haven’t done that enough over the course of my career to really make them worry but it does (help).

“In the run game, they can’t lose contain. They know that threat’s there and they’ve got to be worried about the quarterback pulling the football, so they can’t just crash down and take the running back out of the equation.

“It does make them think a little bit and opens things up.”

Eskimos head coach Richie Hall said he expects Ray to be ready to go on game day.

“He’s just sore,” Hall said. “I think when you end up rushing for 135 yards and become a running back, he took different types of hits than he does when he sits back in the pocket as a quarterback.

“The thing I don’t want him or any of our players to do is not be aggressive, because nothing’s guaranteed. Just take what you can, make a smart decision and get down. Sometimes you have to get that extra yard, so just make good decisions.”

IN AND OUT: MLB Maurice Lloyd was restricted to no contact in practice Tuesday, along with LS Tim St. Pierre, while DE Justin Cooper, FB Mathieu Bertrand, DB Chris Thompson, DE Kai Ellis, LB T.J. Hill, RB Daniel Porter and WR Jamaica Rector sat out completely.

SB Kamau Peterson’s season is finished after rupturing the same Achilles that was healing from a tear for much of the season.

A consultation was set for Tuesday evening “to see whether he’s going to have surgery and how quick he can get in,” Hall said. “It might be surgery (Wednesday).”

WR Efrem Hill has returned to the club, while WR Carl Berman was released from the practice roster. RB Arkee Whitlock (ankle) practised for the first time since being placed on the nine-game injured list and may be ready in time for playoffs.

gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca


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